Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Alan Kay: The PC Must Be Revamped--Now!

Here's a clip from a recent interview with Alan Kay - one of the Titans of the personal computer evolution. The article is short and worth reading. In it Alan pays tribute to the founding role Doug Engelbart played as the original catalyst of the PC. The images are taken from a Siggraph poster produced 1997.

"Basically, the reason I work with children and not adults is because adults are famously difficult to change in any significant way. They've made a commitment to the norms of the world they live in. Children are born not knowing what culture they've been born into, how the culture thinks, and what that culture thinks is important. Yet they are born with some built-in patterns of thinking that are universal. Since the late sixties, I've been interested in the extent to which you could cultivate the kind of thinking skills that only a few people use in the world today, by getting children to learn much more widely and much more fluently than most adults have. If you want to make a change, get the children to think differently."
Alan Kay: The PC Must Be Revamped--Now:

To see the original siggraph poster :

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Denise Caruso has something very important to say - read this review for a starter

WorldChanging: Tools, Models and Ideas for Building a Bright Green Future: Denise Caruso's Intervention: How to Get Responsible, Democratic Biotechnology Intervention: Confronting the Risks of Genetic Engineering and Life on a Biotech Planet: Books: Denise Caruso

Ant Trail No.2 - finding information Architects!

This Ant Trail leads to Information Architects in Tokyo,a dynamite design resource for all things Internet.

The trail will be entirely visual, without associated links. It will give me a visual
platform for my meeting with Robert Scoble in early March. In meeting with Robert, I hope to help him overcome his problem of
continuous partial attention. (CPA) that I mentioned in previous posts.

iA's interface design rules make great visual sense to me, and I am hoping to find a way to redesign this blog so that it follows the iA rules. I think they would be equally applicable to
Scobleizer and the Scoble Video Show.

Let's start on the trail with Netvibes
dave davison's home page (22)
followed by the link to
which contains the link to iA which led me to this really powerful statement: The Interface is the Brand ( which relates to my prior posts on the iPhone and its need for radical simplification). iA gets it just right with this post: Information Architects Japan

and then finally a payoff for my meeting with Robert Scoble - this table rating popular blogs showing that Scobleizer has a way to go in its design.

Ain't discovery grand? I hope Robert will agree.

Periodic Table of the Rejected Elements

Periodic Chart of the Rejected Elements

Atlantic Monthly copyright 1999. Contained in this website are a wide variety of uses of the "visual organizing principle" of the Periodic Table.

iPhone- Is the interface the brand?

See my previous Thoughts Illustrated: iPhone redux - Ubiquitous computing or a Fashion Statement?

These guys from Japan really understand Radical Simplicity. Here is how they put it:Information Architects Japan

And once again Apple proves that nowadays the interface is the brand. Useless to say that I will get that little miracle as soon as I can, yet our uncle Fritz is still desperately waiting for the other Apple promise to be fulfilled: Simplicity.

Information Architects Japan � iA Notebook � Strip it down for Uncle Fritz: Introducing iPhone Nano&Shuffle

Friday, February 16, 2007 - Another way for authors to promote their memes

Click here and when you see the BookTV page click on any of the books which will link you to a brief abstract about the author and the book, and a TV schedule for interviews with the author.

The one that caught my eye was After Words, and clicking on that book spine took me to the description of a George Gilder interview with John Naisbitt and his new book MindSet.

In the interest of integrating the BookTV approach to promoting author's works, i will force myself to watch the Gilder/Naisbitt interview and, if possible record it for podcasting.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Who is Linda Stone and why should we listen to her?

The link above is not live. If this post interests you there will be a link to Linda later on in the post.

Here's the preamble:

My Friend Mark Safranski(ZenPundit) alerted me to The HBR List: Breakthrough Ideas for 2007 which contains as Idea #7 a description by Linda Stone of her extremely apt phrase for our chaotic times: "Continuous Partial Attention (CPA)" .

I think Linda's phrase ranks right up there with Information Anxiety and Future Shock in drawing our attention to how technology is creating a condition I call "too much stuff - too little time" which gets worse as the dilemma of information overload and attention scarcity continues unabated.

Although she first coined the phrase CPA in 1997 during her work at Microsoft, I first heard Linda use it in a speech she gave at the O'Reilly Emerging Technology conference last year.The entire talk (28 min.) is worth listening to and you can download it to your playlist or listen to it here: IT Conversations: Linda Stone

Here's an abstract of Linda's concept of CPA

"This constant checking of handheld electronic devices has become epidemic, and it illustrates what I call 'continuous partial attention.' Although continuous partial attention appears to mimic that much discussed behavior, multitasking, it springs from a different impulse. When we multitask, we are trying to be more productive and more efficient, giving equal priority to all the things we do—simultaneously filing or copying papers, talking on the phone, eating lunch, and so forth. Multitasking rarely requires much cognitive processing, because the tasks involved are fairly automatic. Continuous partial attention, by contrast, involves constantly scanning for opportunities and staying on top of contacts, events, and activities in an effort to miss nothing. It’s an adaptive behavior that has emerged over the past two decades, in stride with Web-based and mobile computing, and it connects us to a galaxy of possibilities all day every day. The assumption behind the behavior is that personal bandwidth can match the endless bandwidth technology offers."

Stone argues that personal bandwidth is not up to the task and, as a result, a backlash to continuous partial attention has already started. She also worries that information overload will burn people out much more quickly as they strain to keep up with an increasing number of information sources all screaming for attention.

It has been my passion since I began posting on this blog 10 months ago to seek ways to provide solutions to this dilemma, solutions which I believe rest on the ideal developed years ago by the architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe. His axiom " Less is more" is my guiding principle.

As I find useful tools for compressing and synthesizing the chaos of content on the Internet I will share them with you, so you won't have to feel like this guy who obviously is suffering from CPA!

The Visual Dictionary - a visual exploration of words in the real world.

Another mosaic of images -these containing single words. The mosaic idea and the site organization is nice but the content has little meaning. Each image in the mosaic contains a link to the invidual image and some data about the photographer.

The Visual Dictionary - a visual exploration of words in the real world.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


This ANT TRAIL - led me to learn the meaning of STIGMERGY and how it works to create such RADICALLY SIMPLE collaborative creations as WikiPedia , Open Source Software and termite "cathedrals" - and it gave me a better understanding of the power of mass collaboration -the subject of Don Tapscott's new book described earlier here: Thoughts Illustrated: WIKINOMICS-another "Networked" book example

I started this web journey as the result of a post by Mark Elliott(the person who led me to the Periodic Table of Visualisation Methods) i will post the ANT TRAIL in a series of links you can follow at the bottom. This web journey was its own reward, as Steve Jobs is fond of saying - and I hope it will be rewarding for you, too.

In keeping with the blog reverse chronology here is the Ant Trail starting backwards from the link above to:

Chapter 1 of Small Pieces - David Weinberger

which started here:Shirky: In Praise of Evolvable Systems

but before that was this link Joe Gregorio | BitWorking | Stigmergy and the World-Wide Web

which came from the Future Commons post by Mark Elliott ( he of the link to the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods presented in a previous post on TI) leading to his article on here:M/C Journal: "Stigmergic Collaboration: The Evolution of Group Work"

The whole Radical Simplification slide show can be visited here: RS: Radical Simplification
and may be worth your while. And for the finale - Stigmergy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A desktop reference for all visualizers : the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods

DON'T WAIT!! Link to this site NOW and get get an interactive version of the table which represents some real scholarship in the field of visualization designed for use by business managers. Mouse over the image of the periodic table and see the visual representations of each of the 100 types of visualizations that appear in the table.

Then, if you are interested in the scholarship behind the Periodic Table Return Here :Visual Literacy: An E-Learning Tutorial on Visualization for Communication, Engineering and Business download the pdf ( 5 pages), read the abstract and, if you wish,take advantage of the reference links to the resources used in this work.

Everyone interested in using visualizations to present or explore anything from simple to complex subjects needs this Periodic Table as a Desktop Reference. I will see if Visual would allow it to be provided as a plugin to the browser.

The link was from Mark Elliott a phd Student at the University of Melbourne and was posted in the Cooperation Commons google group.



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